Demonizing in children's television cartoons and disney animated films

Gregory Fouts, Mitchell Callan, Kelly Piasentin, Andrea Lawson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (SciVal)


The purpose of this study was to assess the prevalence of demonizing in the two major media that young children use (television and movies). Two content analyses were conducted using the animated feature films (n = 34) of the Walt Disney Company and after-school cartoons (n = 41). Each was coded for the modeling of the use of "evil" words when referring to a person, e.g., monster, devil, demon, wicked. Seventy-four percent of the Disney films contained "evil" references, with an average of 5.6 references per film. Forty-four percent of the after-school cartoons contained "evil" references, with an average of one per cartoon. The results are discussed within the context of children's repeated exposure to popular animated movies and cartoons and their learning to demonize people who engage in perceived "bad" behaviors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-23
Number of pages9
JournalChild Psychiatry and Human Development
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2006


  • Demonizing
  • Disney animated films
  • TV cartoons

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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